A football pundit who made a racist remark about Romelu Lukaku has been banned from appearing on an Italian television channel.
Luciano Passirani has been barred from working for TopCalcio24 in the wake of his comments, with station director Fabio Ravezzani quickly apologising live on air.
Passirani said of Lukaku, who has impressed since leaving Man United for Inter: “I don’t see in the Italian league a player like Lukaku in any team, not in AC Milan, Inter, Rome, Lazio.
“He’s one of the strongest and I like him a lot because he’s one of the strongest, he’s at least twice as strong as [Duvan] Zapata from Atalanta.
“These players have something more than the others, these are the guys who make the goals and drag the team.
“If they go one-on-one with you you’re dead, you fall to the ground. You’re alright if you have ten bananas to give him to eat, otherwise…”
Ravezzani did confirm Passirani had apologised for his comments, insisting this took place in a separate piece of footage that was not being shared on social media.
The station director wrote on Twitter: “Only a part of the transmission was spread widely, cutting off the guest’s subsequent apology that he had a moment of unpredictable confusion while trying to make a joke.”
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Lukaku has been racially targeted since he joined Inter earlier this year, with one incident occurring during the Serie A trip to Cagliari.
The Belgium forward was abused by the Sardinian club’s fans, who were then defended by Inter ultras, who released a statement insisting ‘we are not racist and so are not the Cagliari fans’.